Solar panels are set in Xigaze in the Tibet autonomous region, March 30, 2011.[Photo/Xinhua]
XIGAZE - The largest solar power plant in Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region will become operational in May to help ease the plateau region's power shortages.
The 30-megawatt solar photovoltaic generation project in Xigaze prefecture, about 3 km northwest of Tibet's second largest city Xigaze, is perched at 3,895 meters above sea level, the project's steering committee said Thursday in a press release.
It said the project would cost 800 million yuan ($122 million), funded solely by Linuo Power Group, a leading provider of solar photovoltaic power generation systems based in East China's Shandong province.
Construction of the first phase, costing 249 million yuan and covering an area of 30 hectares, began in May last year. It will generate up to 20.23 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, the document said.
German bored piling technology was used to dig through the thick layer of perennial frozen earth on the plateau, said project manager Zhang Daobin. It was the first time such technology had been employed in Tibet.
He said the first phase of the project alone could ease some power shortages in Xigaze prefecture, by supplying electricity for more than 100,000 farming and herding families.
The clean energy project would help save 7,600 tonnes of coal annually and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 13,800 tonnes, said Zhang.
Last year, a 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic generation project was built in Yangbajing, a town 90 km northwest of Tibet's capital Lhasa, with a designed power generation capacity of 430 million kwh during its 25-year life span.